At least 16 House lawmakers from various political parties have filed measures seeking for the already "long overdue" increase in their monthly salary of nurses to P30,000.
A total of eight House bills have so far been submitted to the lower chamber to increase the monthly pay for nurses, with some seeking to raise their salary grade from the current 11 to 15.
In House Bill 3478, for one, the six-member Makabayan Bloc stated that nurses have long been denied of their rightful salaries under Republic Act 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.
Under this law, the entry salary grade for all public nurses in the country should have been Salary Grade 15. However, Joint Resolution 4 or the Salary Standardization Law III in 2009 only pegged their salary grade to 11.
The progressive lawmakers said that nurses in national government hospitals only receive P20,754 a month, but those working in the private sector get much less, at only around P10,000 per month, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.
In addition, the salary of Filipino nurses are way lower than their counterparts in other ASEAN countries, which range from P55,930 to even P111,955, the Makabayan Bloc said.
"Such inadequate salaries and benefits of nurses is one of the main reasons why we are losing our nurses to other countries at the expense of adequate and quality services for the Filipino people," the group said.
"To rectify what has been a gross neglect of the welfare of our nurses, and to prevent the worsening of brain drain, we propose that the minimum salary of nurses be upgraded to P30,000 and adequate benefits be provided for nurses both at the public and private sector," they added.
Other lawmakers who proposed the same measure include 1-PACMAN party-list Representatives Eric Pineda and Michael Romero, Manila Representative John Marvin "Yul Servo" Nieto, Quezon City Representatives Precious Castelo and Alfred Vargas, Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales, and ACT-CIS party-list Representatives Eric Yap, Jocelyn Tulfo and Rowena Niña Taduran. —KBK, GMA News